Home Inverness colorado Solheim Cup 2021: Europe does things in Europe, outperforms to remove disruption from the road | Golf News and Tour Information

Solheim Cup 2021: Europe does things in Europe, outperforms to remove disruption from the road | Golf News and Tour Information

0


TOLEDO, Ohio – “This is what victory looks like,” shouted an enthusiastic American fan parked next to the second tee on Monday afternoon at Inverness Club as bright young United States Solheim Cup rookie Jennifer Kupcho, walked after his tee shot. There was definitely something in the air. Turned out to be a barbecue.

On a balmy, sunny Labor Day in Glass City, the Europeans concocted an upset from their overly friendly American hosts and retained the Solheim Cup with an easier than it looks 15-13 victory. It might have been a bank holiday weekend for the United States, but it was the European team that was able to relax and enjoy the afternoon.

With three wins and a draw in the first four games completed, Catriona Matthew’s European side took an overnight two-point lead to five and had the luxury of playing with that comfortable cushion. America showed courage all the way, but much of it didn’t start fighting until after the bell had basically rung.

Rookie Matilda Castren of Finland delivered the key blow, hitting a 12-by-18-foot putt to fend off 1-lead Lizette Salas for Europe’s 14th point, securing a tie and she would keep the cup she had won two years earlier in Scotland. . Emily Pedersen of Denmark, winless in her 2019 debut, put Europe on top with a decision of 1 over Danielle Kang in the anchor match.

“It’s hard to say right now. I think I’m still shaking,” said Castren, 26, who hit clutch putts on each of the last three holes to improve his record to 3-1-0 . “I just knew I was looking at the board, and I knew it would be a big putt, and I wanted to do it.”

Europe have won for the fourth time in the last six games and for the second time in history in the United States after their 2013 victory in Colorado. Team USA still leads the series 16-11.

“I don’t know if I can put it into words, actually. It’s not really gone yet, “said Matthew, who became the first European captain to win twice and was a 2013 squad player.” Today we got off to such a good start, winning three points in the first few games, then it seemed pretty close. We knew it was going to be tight, and then… Matilda obviously pulled that fantastic putt on 18 to get her point of view, and then Emily finishing on 18 was really a dream come true.

Although America had five of the top 17 players in the world versus just one for Europe (16th Anna Nordqvist), it was the favorite home team that always seemed to be playing from behind. At least that was the case after the foursomes’ first morning session on Saturday, when Europe stole a point and a half late for a three-point lead it has never lost. Americans never seemed to recover from this psychological blow, let alone the actual blow on the scoreboard.

“I think we got behind the eight ball in the very first quartets, and it’s just… we fought to get back,” said US captain Pat Hurst. “It’s still pretty close, but it’s not good enough.”

“They’re probably one of the best European teams I think I’ve seen,” said four-time US assistant captain Stacy Lewis. “It’s just really, really a lot of good putters – not good putters, good putters – and when it’s tight like that it’s a putt or two here and there.”

Which explains a lot of things there. Europe were better on the home stretch, appearing to sink every crucial putt as 16 of 28 games reached the 18th hole.

It didn’t help that America’s top four players — Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang, Jessica and Nelly Korda — combined for just 5½ points. Thompson was 1-2-1, Kang 1-3-0 and the Kordas, unbeaten two years ago, were 1-2-0 and 2-2-0 respectively.

“It’s a really tough golf course,” said Nelly, who admitted to feeling extra pressure as the world No. 1 player. “My caddy and I were talking, and even Jess and I were talking. I legitimately played Evian, the Olympics, the British and then that, so theoretically I play like four big golf courses in a row. So it was a bit mentally draining because you have to focus a lot more on those difficult golf courses. “

Europe scored the first two points decisively. Ireland’s Leona Maguire finished an impressive unbeaten start, never losing a hole on Monday and sending Kupcho, 5 and 4. “I gave her my absolute [best] all this week, ”said Maguire, 26, after going 4-0-1, essentially tying the points total of Thompson and the Kordas on his own. “I couldn’t have given him anything more. I couldn’t have asked for a better week.

Céline Boutier of France followed with a 5 and 4 out of Mina Harigae before Lexi Thompson stopped the losing streak by halving with Anna Nordqvist in the opener.

Nelly Korda took the first American victory by moving up 2 points to beat Georgia Hall, 1 on top. After tied Austin Ernst and Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Megan Khang and Brittany Altomare got closer to Team USA. Khang never lagged behind beating Sophia Popov, 3 and 2, while Altomare rallied to Carlotta Ciganda, 2 and 1. Popov was the only player on either side not on the scoreboard.

Yealimi Noh and Jessica Korda gave the United States four straight wins, but that only made the result more respectable after Castren delivered the decisive blow.

In addition to America’s apparent advantage in the world rankings, the Europeans had to overcome a gallery that was more strongly in favor of the home team than in previous years. Although a record 130,000 fans attended the matches, the usual contingent of European supporters did not make it to the Inverness Club due to the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions. And who knows how many more have stayed on the sidelines in anticipation of coming to the United States in a few weeks for the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.

“We had to lean on each other this week, and I’m really proud that everyone believed in themselves and came out of it,” Nordqvist said.

“We knew it was going to be tough this year without really having any European fans, and they just dug deep,” Matthew added. “Especially yesterday, even when the crowds were getting pretty wild, really hooked, came out with a great finish yesterday, then today is great to start with, then it looked a little fishy, ​​but it’s a good game and so proud of them.

“Just an amazing team, actually.”

Yeah, they definitely had an air about them.